Adrian Henri

Adrian Henri Poems

Love is...

Love is feeling cold in the back of vans

Without you every morning would feel like going back to work after a holiday,
Without you I couldn't stand the smell of the East Lancs Road,
Without you ghost ferries would cross the Mersey manned by skeleton crews,
Without you I'd probably feel happy and have more money and time and

August is coming
and the goose, I'm afraid,
is getting fat.

When we meet
in the midnight hour
country girl
I will bring you night flowers


I want to paint
2000 dead birds crucified on a background of night

`No one owns life, but anyone who can pick up a Fryingpan owns death.'
William Burroughs

Warm your feet at the sunset
Before we go to bed
Read your book by the light of Orion
With Sirius guarding your head

Tonight at noon
Supermarkets will advertise 3d EXTRA on everything
Tonight at noon
Children from happy families will be sent to live in a home


if you weren't you, who would you like to be?

Paul McCartney Gustav Mahler
Alfred Jarry John Coltrane




Youths disguised as stockbrokers

I wanted your soft verges
But you gave me the hard shoulder..

Don't worry
If your boyfriend doesn't treat you right
Everything's going to be all right

At 3 p.m. yesterday, a Mr Adolphus Edwards, a Jamaican immigrant, was pecked to death by a large Bronze Eagle in Upper Parliament St. A U.S. State Dept. spokesman said later, `We have no comment to make as of this time.'

I wouldn't leave my little 8­roomed house for you
I've got one missus and I don't want two


The same old soldiers walking along the same old skyline

It was our first great war
And after the first successful sortie
Into the nomansgland between her thighs
We waited anxiously every month

(Painting and Sculpture of a Decade 54­G4 Tate Gallery London April­June 1964) No. 54 Jean Dubuffet 'Déclinaison de la Barbe' 1. 1959
'as­tu cuilli les fleurs de la barbe?'

Albion's most lovely daughter sat on the banks of the Mersey dangling her landing stage in the water.

A nun in a supermarket
Standing in the queue
Wondering what its like
To buy groceries for two.

I'd been out the night before & hadn't seen the papers or the telly
& the next day in a café someone told me you were dead
And it was as if a favourite distant uncle had died

Adrian Henri Biography

Adrian Henri was a British poet and painter, best remembered as the founder of poetry-rock group The Liverpool Scene and as one of three poets in the best-selling anthology The Mersey Sound, along with Brian Patten and Roger McGough . The trio of Liverpool poets came to prominence in that city's Merseybeat zeitgeist of the 1960s and 1970s. He was described by Edward Lucie-Smith in British Poetry since 1945 as the "theoretician" of the three. His characterisation of popular culture in verse helped to widen the audience for poetry among 1960s British youth. He was influenced by the French Symbolist school of poetry and surrealist art. Adrian Henri's grandfather was a seaman from Mauritius who settled in Birkenhead, Cheshire, where Henri was born. In 1938, at the age of 6, Henri moved to Rhyl. Henri studied art at Newcastle and for a short time taught art at Preston Catholic College before going on later to lecture in art at both Manchester and Liverpool Colleges of Art. He was closely associated with other artists of the area and the era including the Pop artist Neville Weston and the conceptual artist Keith Arnatt. In 1972 he won a major prize for his painting in the John Moores competition. He was president of the Merseyside Arts Association and Liverpool Academy of the Arts in the 1970s and was an honorary professor of the city's John Moores University. He married twice, but had no children. His career spanned everything from artist and poet to teacher, rock-and-roll performer, playwright and librettist. He could name among his friends John Lennon, George Melly, Allen Ginsberg , Willy Russell, John Willett, and Paul McCartney. Unlike McGough and Patten, Henri turned his back on the trendier London scene, and chose to remain in Liverpool, saying there was nowhere he loved better. His numerous publications include The Mersey Sound, with McGough and Patten—a best-selling poetry anthology that brought all three of them to wider attention—Wish You Were Here and Not Fade Away. He was the leading light of a band, The Liverpool Scene, which released four LPs of poetry and music. Earlier, in 1955,he played washboard in the King's College, Newcastle Skiffle Group. He was a firm believer in live poetry reading, and read his poetry at many and varied venues as well as holding poetry workshops at schools and colleges. One of his last major poetry readings was at the launch of The Argotist magazine in 1996. He died in Liverpool aged 68 following a long illness. Shortly before his death, he was awarded the Freedom of the City of Liverpool in recognition of his contribution to Liverpool's cultural scene. He also received an honorary doctorate from the University of Liverpool. He described his early philosophy as, "If you think you can do it and you want to do it — then do it.")

The Best Poem Of Adrian Henri

Love Is...

Love is...

Love is feeling cold in the back of vans

Love is a fanclub with only two fans

Love is walking holding paintstained hands

Love is.

Love is fish and chips on winter nights

Love is blankets full of strange delights

Love is when you don't put out the light

Love is

Love is the presents in Christmas shops

Love is when you're feeling Top of the Pops

Love is what happens when the music stops

Love is

Love is white panties lying all forlorn

Love is pink nightdresses still slightly warm

Love is when you have to leave at dawn

Love is

Love is you and love is me

Love is prison and love is free

Love's what's there when you are away from me

Love is...

Adrian Henri Comments

Jo Seear 07 October 2005

Has anyone ever read the poem by Adrian Henri entitled 'The new, Fast automatic daffodils'? I'm trying to find a copy and haven't had any luck. Please post it on the site! !

8 3 Reply
Anita Gregory 03 September 2005

if youlike adrian henri try brian pattern, and rodger mcgough

7 3 Reply
Sallie Howson 18 June 2005

i love adrian henri's poems. could someone post some more of his work here please?

7 1 Reply
Shakira Nandini 22 June 2021

nice poems

0 0 Reply
Good Poet 26 November 2018

I think his poems are good but I think he could make them more interesting for e.g. the poem Autumn I think it could h

0 2 Reply
Good Poet 26 November 2018

He is a talented poet but I think he could make his poems more interesting like the one called Autumn I think he could make it more interesting by adding more........ rhythm but that's just my comment but truthfully I think its not up to me so....yea but like thins comment if you agree :)

3 0 Reply
Sonu thakur 06 August 2018

Very nice

1 0 Reply
Dark Mavis 08 November 2005

wonderful poet, wonderful man, sadly missed........ annoyed when i saw there was only 2 of his poems on here! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! if i ever get the time, i will rectify this........

7 4 Reply

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